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07

APR

Swindon College Old Boys 0 - Marlborough 30
Marlborough continued their impressive season with a convincing victory in the final of the Dorset and Wilts Plate Final. The re-arranged game, played at Swindon RFC’s Greenbridge Road club, was Marlborough’s 2nd final in 2 years, and were determined to win after losing in the final last year.

The game started with Swindon College attacking in to the wind, but constantly threatening through their backs. Marlborough were pinned in their half for the majority of the first 15 minutes, but then started to treat the crowd to some vintage Marlborough rugby, with big yards being made through the driving maul and crashing up centres Mike Hill and Chris Patterson. The Marlborough pressure eventually told as Swindon College gave away a penalty in their 22, a chance which wing Nathan Morgan duly took to give Marlborough a 3-0 lead. This seemed to open the game up, and Marlborough proceeded to score 3 tries before the half time break. The first of these came from cup captain Jonny Mantle, who went through to score in the corner after Dave Lemon broke through 3 tackles. 5 minutes later Morgan crossed for a score, after a scrum on the 22, Marlborough decided to attack the blind side channel, with Lemon off loading to scrum half Owen Lucas, who drew his man and passed to Morgan, who burst past his opposite winger, and then shrugged off the full back to touch down in the corner. The final try of the half came again from Mantle, who broke through 2 tackles to score in the corner, giving Marlborough an 18-0 half time lead. Full back Laurence Baker unfortunately had to leave the field at half time with a twisted knee.

The second half began as the first did, with both sides making yards up the pitch when ball in hand, and both sides missing tackles in midfield. Man of the match Joe Mitchell made many bone rattling hits, and also pounced on every loose ball that was near him, in an impressive display from the 18 year old open side flanker.

The second half saw many replacements for Marlborough, with veteran flanker Kevin Clancy first to go off, after a great 50 minutes, followed by prop Billy Bob Trevaskis, who was forced off after a hit to the ribs. Morgan also left the field after taking a hit to the ribs. Swindon College old boys were also making many changes, and got themselves into good positions many times, but poor decision making and knock ons at crucial times meant they never capitalised on good situations.

The turning point in the 2nd half was when one of the Swindon College players was sin binned for a late tackle on Patterson, reducing them to 14 players for 10 minutes. It was only a matter of time before one of their players was binned, after many talkings to from the referee. Marlborough capitalised on their numerical advantage, and with 10 minutes to go, crashed over for a 4th try of the afternoon, from Trevor Clarkson, following a strong run from Hill, and the ensuing driving maul sent Clarkson over.

Marlborough were not finished there, and scored a 5th try when Lemon broke through some weary attempted tackles to score the final points of the afternoon. By this time the game was safe, and it left Lucas to kick the ball out after the final scrum of the game, to wrap up the afternoon, and begin the celebrations.


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